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Alternative Names Return to topWet prep
Definition Return to top
The vaginitis wet mount test is a test to detect an infection of the vagina that does not involve the urinary tract.
See also: Vaginitis
How the Test is Performed Return to top
You will be asked to lie on your back with your feet in the stirrups. The health care provider will perform a pelvic examination and then insert an instrument called a speculum into the vagina. The speculum is slightly opened. This holds the vagina open and allows the health care provider to see inside.
The health care provider inserts a sterile, moist cotton swab into the vagina to take a sample of discharge. The swab and speculum are removed. The discharge is placed onto a slide and placed under a microscope so that it can be checked for signs of infection.
How to Prepare for the Test Return to top
Do not douche for 24 hours before the test.
How the Test Will Feel Return to top
There may be slight discomfort with the pelvic examination and when the speculum is inserted.
Why the Test is Performed Return to top
The test looks for the cause of vaginal irritation and discharge.
Normal Results Return to top
A normal test result means there are no signs of an infection.
What Abnormal Results Mean Return to top
Abnormal results mean there is an infection. The most common infections are due to one or a combination of the following:
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:
Risks Return to top
There are no risks associated with this test.
Considerations Return to top
For information on treatment and prevention, please see the article on vaginitis.
References Return to top
Eckert LO, Lentz GM. Infections of the lower genital tract: vulva, vagina, cervix, toxic shock syndrome, HIV infections. In: Katz VL, Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap. 22.Update Date: 5/2/2008 Updated by: Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine; Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.